|Process flow for the SCE-Chevron hydrogen station. Click to enlarge.|
Southern California Edison (SCE) and Chevron Technology Ventures LLC last week dedicated a comprehensive hydrogen energy station evaluation and demonstration program at the utility’s Rosemead headquarters.
The five-year demonstration is co-funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as one of five projects under a DOE cost-sharing program to demonstrate a variety of integrated well-to-wheels systems under real world conditions.
The SCE station—which is for demonstration purposes only—is among the first facilities in Southern California fully to explore the electrolyzer process to generate hydrogen. The station and program include:
An on-site, state-of-the-art alkaline electrolyzer that produces up to 40 kg of hydrogen per day with 60 kg of storage. At the hydrogen station in Rosemead, city water serves as the feedstock. The water is further purified through a de-ionizer which removes unwanted soluble species and ions. The resulting water is mixed with an electrolyte solution, splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen via electrolysis.
The resulting hydrogen is purified and then compressed to 6,250 psi for vehicle fueling. Up to 60 kg of compressed hydrogen is stored in five storage vessels at high, medium and low pressures.
An SCE-designed, advanced “power analyzing system” that gathers detailed system-wide energy impact data on the entire hydrogen production process.
Advanced and redundant safety systems including hydrogen flame detectors, and hydrogen gas detectors with real time and simultaneous monitoring between SCE and Chevron.
A fleet of up to nine zero-emission Hyundai fuel-cell cars, powered by UTC Power fuel cells that will be evaluated as part of the station’s operational demonstration.
The Hyundai fuel cell vehicles include a GPS tracking system and advanced data logging capabilities to evaluate their performance in a real world application.
This is one of five Chevron Hydrogen stations commissioned and implemented in California, Florida and Michigan. Each Chevron hydrogen station uses a different hydrogen production technology.
This will help us understand which technologies work best and what factors need to be in place to make hydrogen a viable transportation fuel.—Rick Zalesky, Chevron president of hydrogen and biofuels
SCE says that its partnership with Chevron is an example of SCE’s commitment to join with major automakers, federal and state government organizations and our customers to fully understand the potential of transportation connecting to the electric grid. SCE points out that the electric grid is basically the only “alternative fuel” infrastructure that is ubiquitous today in the US.
SCE currently operates a fleet of nearly 300 electric vehicles that covers almost 100,000 miles a month and has traveled more than 14 million miles since the mid 90s. Several EVs achieved more than 100,000 miles on their original battery packs in a test program.
Since the inception of SCE’s EV program, company vehicles have avoided the consumption of more than 700,000 gallons of gasoline and avoided 7,500 tons of global warming carbon dioxide emissions and more than 1,700 tons of air pollutants, according to the company.
John Bryson, chairman, Edison International, said that SCE’s hydrogen and fuel-cell EV evaluation and demonstration program are part of the company’s continued commitment to research and development in electric transportation.
Strengthening energy security and environmental protections will drive development of next generation transportation technologies. In the future, fuel cells powered by hydrogen may be part of the solution.—John Bryson
SCE’s Electric Vehicle Technical Center (EVTC), founded in 1993, conducts extensive plug-in electric vehicle battery testing with major battery manufacturers and the DOE to evaluate system reliability in both mobile and stationary applications.
Chevron Hydrogen Energy Stations